Permanent Ceasefire is the Only Solution

The old wounds of war that exist in the body, mind and life of the Afghan people will not heal with the declaration of a three-day ceasefire. Although stopping the war for three days is good, it cannot lighten the heavy burden of war and suffering from the lives of our people. If the government and the Taliban believe in and respect the right of the people to live in a safe and non-violent environment, they must plan for a permanent ceasefire. People tired of the war in Afghanistan are calling for a permanent cessation of violence, and this can only be achieved through a peace agreement with the help of a permanent ceasefire.

Security is one of the most natural human rights of every individual in society. Unfortunately, this right of the Afghan people has been brutally violated for four consecutive decades. Happiness is a natural human right. In many years of war, however, this right of the people has also been violated. It is too simplistic to imagine that the people of Afghanistan deserve happiness for only three days of Eid al-Fitr and that they will have to grieve for the other days of their lives. Likewise, people do not need security for just three days of Eid al-Fitr. Security as the most natural human right of every individual in society is the constant need of our people. We must agree on principles and conditions that can guarantee the lasting security of the Afghan people.

The announcement of a three-day ceasefire by the Taliban is unfortunately of no particular political significance. Unless the government and the Taliban can agree to extend it with the aim of reaching an agreement on peace and future reconstruction in Afghanistan. The Taliban have announced that they will declare a ceasefire for the three days of Eid al-Fitr so that the people can celebrate these days in a safe atmosphere. Therefore, the Taliban’s goal in announcing a three-day Eid ceasefire is not to enter into a peace dialogue with the government and for the two sides to finally agree on a political solution to end the war and violence permanently. That is why the announcement of a three-day Eid ceasefire by the Taliban is not of particular political significance.

It is natural that the government and the Taliban will return to the battlefields after the end of Eid, and the series of killings in the country will resume. With the resumption of wars, death, displacement and destruction will once again enter and security will exit from the people’s lives. That is why a ceasefire is not enough for only three days of Eid and does not untie the knot of the issue.

The parties to the war must agree on a permanent ceasefire to find a lasting solution to the Afghan problem. Unfortunately, the moral and political courage of this work is not seen on both sides. Although the Afghan government has repeatedly stated its readiness to declare a permanent ceasefire, due to lack of trust in the Taliban, it has not been able to accept the group’s conditions. On the Taliban side, they have no courage to declare a permanent ceasefire without conditions. The reason is the lack of trust in a government which has repeatedly spoken to this group from a surrender position.

It should be emphasized that the fundamental solution to the Afghanistan issue lies in a permanent ceasefire agreement. In the light of this agreement, the future of Afghanistan must be decided. Short-term ceasefires simply mean a temporary cessation of hostilities and it does not help the peace process. Permanent ceasefire means that the parties have decided to talk to each other to overcome differences and agree on common interests and the future. Even if these talks take years and the differences between the two sides persist, they will still not turn to the battlefield. Unfortunately, the intention of peace is absent in the Taliban’s ceasefire announcement. If there was an intention for peace in this ceasefire, the other side should have been invited to dialogue. Therefore, with the return of the government and the Taliban to war after the end of the Eid al-Fitr ceasefire, the value of this ceasefire will also disappear.

It should be noted, however, that a three-day cessation of hostilities is also good, and no such action was expected from the Taliban, which has recently been shouting “conquer” by leaning on war. Although the three-day Eid al-Fitr ceasefire will not help the peace process and is politically meaningless, it is useful in reducing the death toll and displacement. If the people of Afghanistan cannot solve the most important problems of their lives in these three days, they will at least have the opportunity to celebrate Eid in a safe atmosphere. This is the only tangible benefit that people will experience during Eid.